Change in Notice Period During Current Contract
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    Default Change in Notice Period During Current Contract

    Hi,
    Newbie to contracting and on my first contract and having extended already.

    Recently I was informed by the agency the client wished to go to a no notice contract with a one week notice period for themselves. This is a bit of a change from the current 30 days each in my current contract. As such, the agency is posting out a new contract for me to sign, so my questions are:

    If I refuse to sign, am I still bound be the 30 day notice period in my existing contract?
    If I refuse to sign, is the agency still bound by the 30 day notice period in my existing contract?

    Or is this enforced change a get out for an earlier exit? Or more likely, its a case of suck it and see - i.e the client maybe happy for me to leave or insist I serve out the full 30 days depending upon their needs?

    Lastly - with Christmas coming up, if I were to be forced to work 30 days, could I be forced to cancel any or all of my current leave? And if not, what's to stop someone just taking all of their remaining notice period as holiday?

    Lots of questions, I did a search but I bet most, if not all have been answered before.
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notascooby View Post
    Lastly - with Christmas coming up, if I were to be forced to work 30 days, could I be forced to cancel any or all of my current leave? And if not, what's to stop someone just taking all of their remaining notice period as holiday?
    Leave?? Holiday?? These are permie terms. You don't get allocated holidays or leave as a contractor. You don't work you don't get paid. You tell the client when you won't be in and he doesn't pay you. You shouldn't have any leave or holidays allocated.

    Are you on one of these contract to permie contractors or are you a true contractor in a B2B contract via umbrella or LTD?
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    Do you mean you can't give notice or do you mean that your notice period is 0 days?
    A notice period from the agent is meaningless as they are not obliged to provide you with work (i.e. you don't get paid anyway).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notascooby View Post
    If I refuse to sign, am I still bound be the 30 day notice period in my existing contract?
    If I refuse to sign, is the agency still bound by the 30 day notice period in my existing contract?
    Yes and Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Notascooby View Post
    Or is this enforced change a get out for an earlier exit?
    Could very well be! They could easily change your contract and then terminate it the next day. I see no reason why you should agree to amend the contract. What's the worst that could happen? They'll give you 30 days notice. If you do sign, then they could terminate with immediate effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Notascooby View Post
    Lastly - with Christmas coming up, if I were to be forced to work 30 days, could I be forced to cancel any or all of my current leave? And if not, what's to stop someone just taking all of their remaining notice period as holiday?
    As Northernlad says, you don't really have a concept of holiday or leave as a contractor. What you have is time periods when you are "not available for work", perhaps working elsewhere, perhaps taking a break.

    Technically, you dictate to the client when and how you can work for them but if the client doesn't want you to take time off (say at a critical point in a project) then it's not good business practice to take time off anyway.

    Technically, you could tell them that you are unavailable during January and then give 30 days notice on 31st Dec but that's not good business. I'm sure they would want you to do some sort of handover so you would be expected to come back in February and finish up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notascooby View Post
    Hi,
    Newbie to contracting and on my first contract and having extended already.

    Recently I was informed by the agency the client wished to go to a no notice contract with a one week notice period for themselves. This is a bit of a change from the current 30 days each in my current contract. As such, the agency is posting out a new contract for me to sign, so my questions are:

    If I refuse to sign, am I still bound be the 30 day notice period in my existing contract?
    If I refuse to sign, is the agency still bound by the 30 day notice period in my existing contract?

    Or is this enforced change a get out for an earlier exit? Or more likely, its a case of suck it and see - i.e the client maybe happy for me to leave or insist I serve out the full 30 days depending upon their needs?

    Lastly - with Christmas coming up, if I were to be forced to work 30 days, could I be forced to cancel any or all of my current leave? And if not, what's to stop someone just taking all of their remaining notice period as holiday?

    Lots of questions, I did a search but I bet most, if not all have been answered before.
    Thanks
    Your call, really.

    I personally find this type of one-sided change despicable. Only had it happen once to me, and I threatened to walk if they attempted to change the contract. In that case, they backed down; but they could have just as easily given me 30 days notice. No-one knows what will happen in your case, so simply make up your own mind: either accept it, or threaten to walk if you find the change unacceptable (and be prepared to do just that.)
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    I've had this recently where a client was changing the notice period for all their contract staff from 30 days to 1 week as the result of some new company policy. I was happy in the role so just accepted the change, but it is one of those things that can annoy you as its a very one-way street so to speak, you either accept it or face the consequences.

    Coming from a permie background it might be difficult to take, but a 1 week notice period is not necessarily a bad thing from your point of view when it comes to finding a new position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ascender View Post
    Coming from a permie background it might be difficult to take, but a 1 week notice period is not necessarily a bad thing from your point of view when it comes to finding a new position.
    ...Except that's not normally how it works. Many times, the client wants to change to a 1 week - or in some cases zero day - notice policy, but the contractor must accept a "no notice" clause and must complete the full stint of 3, 6 or 12 months. Lots of banks have tried this on with me the past, calling it their "standard practice". I've always politely declined and found better roles elsewhere.
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    Thanks for the replies - as a newbie, I'm surprised with the number / speed of responses.

    Yes this is the you have to work your full contract "no notice" but we can boot you at any time.

    As for leave / holiday / availability - this is what I meant. I've already said I'm not available from COP 22nd Dec. So technically if I were to had in my 30 days tomorrow, I could finish then as the 30 days would include my "unavailable to work" period.

    Whilst clientco have called this a standardisation exercise, I see it as a precursor to portfolio rationalisation exercise and whilst I feel my project is safe (funding recently secured) I don't like the double standards of "you must fulfil your contract, we can boot you whenever we please) especially with a weeks notice, you could be sunning yourself on holiday only to return to find you've no longer got a position as of a week ago. Not the handiest for looking for new work.

    I've therefore, no doubt like others effected, been scouting out other work and wanted to know what to say to the potential clientco#2 when asked about start dates.

    So probably safest to say start of the year, explaining unless the clientco#1 is happy to part-terms earlier.

    I've told agent#1 that any further extension with clientco#1 will incur a premium for the new contract say 10% on standard rate. I'm now thinking I should ask for this immediately on the new contract being sent.

    Cheers guys, look forward to learning more.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notascooby View Post
    Hi,
    Newbie to contracting and on my first contract and having extended already.

    Recently I was informed by the agency the client wished to go to a no notice contract with a one week notice period for themselves. This is a bit of a change from the current 30 days each in my current contract. As such, the agency is posting out a new contract for me to sign, so my questions are:

    If I refuse to sign, am I still bound be the 30 day notice period in my existing contract?
    If I refuse to sign, is the agency still bound by the 30 day notice period in my existing contract?

    Or is this enforced change a get out for an earlier exit? Or more likely, its a case of suck it and see - i.e the client maybe happy for me to leave or insist I serve out the full 30 days depending upon their needs?

    Lastly - with Christmas coming up, if I were to be forced to work 30 days, could I be forced to cancel any or all of my current leave? And if not, what's to stop someone just taking all of their remaining notice period as holiday?

    Lots of questions, I did a search but I bet most, if not all have been answered before.
    Thanks


    It may be worth asking the question, if you're brave, as to why they wish to do this. The 'company policy' line suggests they are treating all contractor staff as true temps. Who knows really.....

    if you're not close to the end of your contract, I'd not agree to the amendments citing its a change to the terms and conditions without any compensatory change in rate. You could argue that the reduced notice period increases your risk on the opportunity and consequently the rate, which was based on a 30 day notice period, will therefore be increased by XX (pick a number that isn't stupid).

    Whatever you do on rate above, another consideration I always apply to notice periods - especially where its so lop sided as most seem to be - is that for notice periods of ZERO, I request the agency clearly state 2 things against that:

    a) The circumstances under which that notice period will be executed (e.g. End of Project, Client Budget Exhausted, etc)

    b) That the termination is undertaken by 'mutual agreement'


    By including the above (and I've had more success on this than not), you limit the ability of the agency / client to simply ditch the contract without consideration, which is what the 30 days protects you from to some degree. Otherwise, with a zero notice period and no limitations to its causality, you might as well have no contract because its worthless in my view.

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